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The Oldest Library Ever Found

April 16 2021
Image credit: Paolo Matthiae
Image credit: Paolo Matthiae

Located in the city of Ebla, now located near the village of Mardikh (roughly 55 km outside Aleppo), you are looking at the Palace Archive of Ebla (aka the Ebla State Archives) the oldest organized library we have yet to find anywhere.

The city was founded sometime around 3500 BCE, while the library is believed to be from around 2500 BCE to 2250 BCE. 

The archive held around 20,000 cuneiform tablets from around 2350 BCE, which have provided invaluable information about the government proceedings and everyday life of the people who lived in the area at the time.

A reconstruction drawing of what the Ebla Archive probably looked like. On the left-hand side there is an L-shaped wooden bookcase which winds along the wall, featuring 3 bookshelves. The bookcase is connected to a straight bookcase (also with three bookshelves) wich follows a wall perpendicular to the leftmost wall. The shelves are numbered from one to ten, which according to a legend on the lower left side (written in Italian) denotes what topics where stored in what order.

Image credit: Paolo Matthiae


By Alice Flecha (Volunteer Blogger)

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